To the Editor:

I have known Tim for close to four years, meeting him every morning at the Oak Bluffs dock where he picked up the newspapers he home delivered. (I deliver to the retail stores.) I also employed him as an extra driver in the summer. He was one of these characters the Island has plenty of but would rather not talk about. I just felt compelled to say something.

He home delivered newspapers, maybe yours. He lived the ultimate Island shuffle: friend’s couch, car, hospital, jail, rehab. His existence was an endless string of problems, each of which he greeted with a resounding curse.

At first sight, you would have called him unsavory, rude, obnoxious even. He was in fact a kind and sensitive man, fighting a battle he couldn’t win.

He regretted what his mouth said while his brain was absent and always tried to help the people he occasionally offended.

At times, when the fog lifted, you would catch a glimpse of the caring, intelligent, witty man he once was. You would then know you were the witness to a slow motion suicide and think, “If only I could… ”

His name was Tim, he died last Sunday. He had a good heart but a bad liver.

Yann Meersseman

Oak Bluffs